Starting Your Ghost Hunt
Ensure that you have permission to be there, I cannot emphasise this enough. Do not trespass or break in to conduct a ghost hunt; not only does it reflect badly on other ghost hunters who may like to conduct an investigation in the future, but it is illegal and will get you in trouble with the law. Always get permission in writing to conduct your hunt and take that with you along with your ID as you may be questioned about what you are doing by security or police (a group of people with torches wandering around in the dark is very suspicious).
Before you begin the hunt make sure you have researched the area thoroughly. Know its history, know which ghosts you are likely to encounter. It may be helpful for just one person in the paranormal investigation team to have this info, so as not to influence the other members.
The team should be rested and ready to work. While most ghost hunters enjoy what they do, it is still serious work, even if just a hobby, so make sure no-one is intoxicated, drunk or tired.
Try to have one person in charge of each piece of equipment/task. If there are only a few of you, still ensure that the tasks are divided up between you all and that everyone knows what they should be doing. This helps the hunt flow better and means you cover more.
If your hunt is at night, make sure you have walked around the area and familiarised yourself with it during the day. Be sure to take plenty of photographs before the hunt begins, so you have a record of the lay out before the lights go out.
Run through the planned schedule of the ghost hunt for everyone so the whole team has it fresh in their mind before they begin.
During Your Ghost Hunt
If you are using motion sensors or setting up static cameras in rooms, then do that at the start of the hunt. If there have been reports of objects moving in certain areas, then you may want to set up a controlled object experiment. This is a flat object like a coin that is placed on a white piece of paper. Draw an outline around the object and leave it for the duration of the hunt. At the end of the hunt, check on the object to see if it has been moved. To make it more scientific, you can keep a camera on the object and the surrounding area for the duration of the experiment.
Make sure no-one goes anywhere alone at any point in the ghost hunt. At the very least ensure everyone sticks to a buddy system, but much better are small groups of four people or so, but of course, this depends on the number of people taking part in the investigation.
If a situation becomes too intense or people start to feel weird or afraid, consider taking a short break to allow everyone to compose themselves; high emotions, especially negative ones can be used against you by mischievous ghosts.
While you should follow your plan and your schedule, don’t be afraid to deviate from it slightly if one area is showing more activity than another. Don’t spend too much time going over photographs or EVP as you’ll waste precious time during the hunt, and you’ll have plenty of time to go over your findings at the end.
Expert Ghost Hunters
If you’re still unsure about starting out on your own, then why not accompany a group of professional ghost hunters. This may be a good idea anyway, to see how other people organise an investigation. There are paranormal companies that organise ghost hunts and you can pay to go on one of these. There are also ghost hunting clubs, which you can join and be a part of their regular ghost hunts while you learn the ropes.
Check online for ghost hunting groups or organisations in your area.
If you want to start investigating ghosts seriously or have more scientifically verifiable results, then you need to learn more. For example, in his Top 5 Ghost Hunting Mistakes Benjamin Radford speaks about the need to be more scientific if you want to be a real ghost hunter.
Good luck, be safe and happy ghost hunting!